Why Volunteer? To make a difference is my simple reason. I have done it all my life and it’s good. By that I mean it makes me feel great, it is in my opinion, a good thing to do but it is also fun! All the guys who disappear off to Africa and abroad – my son and daughter’s boyfriend have done this in the past – I cannot compete with! My work is humbler, in marketing to support young marketers and growing businesses at the CIM. In charity at Dorset Community Foundation an incredible outfit supporting thousands of Dorset small charities and social enterprises. So why get involved with anything outside of work? Here are my reasons.
At its simplest, you know if something you do like squashing an ant is good or bad. Spending time, helping solve problems for people, a cause or organisation is good because:
- It takes resources to solve problems, that means cost, so your contribution means in effect a cash contribution
- You choose causes you feel passionate about which is is good
- You choose, no one else, every day, and minute what to do, which is incredibly good for your spirit and health
- Literally it is: morally excellent; virtuous; righteous…yep perhaps a bit boring to say so, but ticks all those!
It’s great to meet people. Fun to be with people. Yes there are problems and hassles to be overcome but, we need challenges or we atrophy. When I solve problems, it is fun. Not everything of course is light-hearted, especially when dealing with multi-million pound charities – which I am involved with. But you can work on small events, with local villages, or churches – depending on your proclivities…
It makes a difference
I have a relative who works in a Charity shop. That makes a difference. We have ambassadors who are vital at Dorset Community Foundation, for example: putting on events, linking us up with the Dorset community. These people are volunteers. What is their motivation? It varies, some have specific interest in education, the arts, helping their local village and so on. But I think all realise why volunteer? To make a difference.
Leave your Mark
People I admire in voluntary roles are driven by a cause, reason, event or vision. They are not looking for a reward, for a payment or recognition. It’s certainly nice to get a thank you, but they have their own motivation. What is rewarding is to leave your mark. It’s great to make a difference at the time, to create something which is of longer term value is terrific. What is good in a voluntary capacity is that, you are only as good as the true value of the work. If you are any good, the work speaks for itself and you will leave your mark.
Answer to Yourself
Working effectively, usually means working with others in a team environment. So I strive to be be empethetic and continually practice what is nowadays called emotional intelligence. I continually challenge myself to improve! Having said this, I believe firmly that the person I answer to is me. Nothing needs to be proved to anyone else, just “me.” And you cannot fool yourself. Hence the achievements at work, home and in voluntary life are all challenges I am looking to achieve meaningful results from. Why should I abdicate responsibility to someone else if reckon I can do a better job. Who is to decide? Well, why not put yourself forward if you feel passionate about something?